is the only Constant for Coconut Farmers Hence the Need to
Manage Change through 2015”
("The Cocommunity" - Monthly APCC Newsletter
Volume 45, Series No. 1, 1 January 2015)
in climatic conditions, market trends, produce prices, consumer
demands and even government policies affecting trade are to
be the order of the year, it may seem. Innovations in technologies
and farming practices for improved productivity and cost-effectiveness
are also amongst the positive changes that would assure stakeholders
of viability. All such change require of those affected ‘smart’
measures to manage them effectively.
The global market trends and trading outlook for coconut products
would be amongst key focus areas for stakeholders this year.
Many continue to weigh the benefits of continuing with the
traditional copra and crude coconut oil production against
emerging non-traditional products of much higher market value
though needing investment in appropriate technologies, equipment,
machinery, infrastructures and market arrangements.
Copra prices offered to farmers is determined by the movement
in prices for coconut oil (CNO). By December 2013 the CNO
prices rose to US$1,268/MT and maintained that level through
to holding higher in July 2014 at US$1,304/MT. Based on current
price trend and the predicted long term impact of typhoon
Haiyan in the Philippines as the main CNO producer, it is
estimated that the price of CNO would increase, though at
lower rates, at least for two to three years ahead. In comparison
Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) prices peaked at US$1,383/MT in March
2014 but declined to US$967/MT through December 2014.
Amongst the non-traditional products of coconut the price
of desiccated coconut (DC) increased significantly from US$1,587/MT
in August 2013 to US$2,861/MT in August 2014. Increase in
production of Virgin Coconut Oil and Coconut Water follows
encouraging price movements during 2014. Under the circumstances
coconut farmers would seize the opportunity to sell whole
or de-husked whole nuts to buyers and processors. Whilst this
could be economically beneficial to farmers it would affect
the already declining production of CNO.
Of importance is knowledge of the supply chain for coconut
products and the ability to manage that well enough to reap
the benefits. In a ‘buyer-led’ market a major
concern would be the fragmented state of small farmers that
would prevent the maximizing of returns through economies
of scale created when they are united in formal structures
with more bargaining advantage on how much they should be
paid for their produce.
Changes in government policies over time have deregulated
and withdrawn marketing functions in commodity organization
in most Pacific states, leaving the industry in a ‘free-for-all’
trading mode that may not necessarily be in the best interest
of the coconut farmers. Maximizing returns to coconut farmers
may have been part of government obligation is not always
amongst the mission mandates of the private sector. This would
no doubt require the strengthening of national institutions
to facilitate well for farmers ensuring there is more equitable
trade that enables all parties in the supply chain to be viable.
APCC regrets the loss to the global coconut sector with the
passing of Late Dr. Amporn Winotai of Thailand and Dr. S.P.
Singh of India who have both contributed immensely with their
vast knowledge and experience on pests and diseases of coconut.
The APCC Secretariat takes this opportunity to congratulate
and welcome Mrs. Deepthi R Nair of India who has recently
joined as the new Assistant Director and the new Market Development
Officer Mr. Alit Pirmansah of Indonesia. The Secretariat wishes
for all farmers, partners and stakeholders in the coconut
sector a prosperous new year.